Is it OK to take a blogging break?

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You may have noticed I’ve been quiet for some time on my blog – well silent for 6 months to be exact.

I’ve had an unplanned blogging break. For the past 6 months I’ve needed to switch my focus into other areas of my life – my family, work and personal life. The last 6 months have been both challenging and rewarding. Career wise I’ve transitioned to become a digital nomad based mainly in Vietnam. It’s been an exciting and interesting time.

I have been fortunate to be able to work full-time whilst exploring life as a digital nomad. Thank you to my wonderful clients (you know who you are),  for giving me great remote working opportunities. My young family and I have enjoyed exploring and learning how to live and work globally so much we’ve decided to stay on for a while.

…so I’ve not been writing as much and feel a bit guilty.

This led me to the question – is it ok to take a blogging break?

And I believe the answer to this depends on what your intentions are with blogging?

For me I find blogging incredibly useful for personal learning, reflecting and improving my practice. I’ve still been reflecting in the last 6 months don’t get me wrong, it’s just when I blog my reflecting and thinking becomes deeper and more purposeful. Also as I look into the future I find it easy to forget about my past learnings and achievements, my blog acts as a reminder. Sometimes I even go back and use my past learnings to help me solve current challenges.

I feel blogging makes me more visible which makes me more accountable and driven for my professional development. This has in turn created more opportunities.

To be honest though it does take a lot of time and energy to maintain. And the last 6 months I chose to use my energy elsewhere.

I want to put content on here that is not only useful to my own development but also hopefully useful and interesting for you. So here I am back for 2018 and ready to blog about interactive videos, tools, techniques, curated content strategies, learning strategies and more. I look forward to learning more, and sharing more. Thank you to all those who took the time to read, and especially to those who commented on or liked a post to let me know you’re out there 🙂 Happy New Year!

Monthly inspiration – 3 quick tips

As this has been a very busy month,  I’ve had to get my inspiration quick and on-the-go. What are some ways you get inspiration and improve your practice on-the-fly when life gets hectic? Here are some techniques that work for me:

1. Seek inspiration anywhere and everywhere

The other day I was at the museum with my 2 year old daughter. While sitting down she handed me a book – How to be an explorer of the world. It had some different and interesting perspectives. Although the book was targeted to the parallels between art and science, I could see a lot of parallels with instructional design and my own learning.

Here’s a page I found particularly intriguing:

page 1

Inspiration can be found everywhere.

2. Choose a focus and examine that focus everywhere

Inspiration and learning doesn’t only come during work hours or in the work place it can be anytime and anywhere. Inspiration can be grabbed while on the run.

I find it useful to have a specific focus. For example, if I wanted to improve my choice and use of fonts in elearning design, I would study fonts everywhere I go. I would look at places surrounding me and how fonts are used on websites, signs, marketing posters, products, tv adverts and elsewhere. What techniques are being used to gain attention, create emotion, and draw the audience into reading the text?

This technique could be used for focusing on other areas of elearning design e.g. storytelling, developing personality in characters, use of colour, creating realistic environments, just to name a few.

3. Be deliberately unfocused

This is the opposite technique as the previous one. This is where you would choose to be deliberately unfocused and instead let inspiration find you when your brain is resting. These are the moments of clarity that we have when we’re relaxed and our brain has switched off. Have you ever solved a problem while you’ve been sleeping?

Below are some instructions from How to be an explorer of the world to help achieve an unfocused state, why not give it a try?

book 3

What are some ways that you grab quick inspiration? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Follow me to hear more of mine.